No matter what you think of the game, No Man's Sky [official site] has gripped the games industry in a rare frenzy with its promises of nigh limitless space exploration. The game launched today on PC, and although things were a bit rocky, No Man's Sky is already setting records, swiftly becoming Steam's most successful launch of the year.
According to Steam Stats, No Man's Sky peaked at 212,620 concurrent players on its first day. Even at the time of writing this article (which is a ridiculous time, I'll have you know), No Man's Sky sits at over 125,000 players, sitting pretty in third place below Dota 2 and CounterStrike: GO. It's likely we could see these numbers climbing higher as we head into the weekend proper.
If that's not an impressive number for you, consider XCOM 2, which launched earlier this year and peaked at 133,022 players. Or sleeper hit Stardew Valley, which peaked at 64,362. These numbers don't really indicated how many copies of the game have been sold, but they can be a pretty decent indicator of a game's success. If you consider Fallout 4, which launched alongside Call of Duty last year, Bethesda's post-apocalyptic mega-hit peaked at 472,962 users and earned $750 million within 24 hours. It's worth remembering that No Man's Sky hails from a wee indie studio. It's success in comparison to a huge AAA launch is pretty considerable.
Disclosure: Our Alec did some last-minute writing for No Man’s Sky. He won’t write about the game for us any more, and every time he thinks about it we kick him.